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Study: Women detect B.O. better

April 8, 2009 11:55:54 AM PDT
Listen up men! You may think you smell fine, but your wife or girlfriend or female friend may think otherwise.A new study finds a woman's nose can penetrate fragrances and detect body odor better than a man's can.

The study, published in the Flavour and Fragrance Journal, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia asked women and men to rate the strength of underarm sweat samples collected from both genders.

When presented with the scent on its own, men and women detected the odor equally, but when researchers combined the sweat samples with other fragrances designed to conceal body odor, in many cases, women could still detect it, while men could not.

Researchers tested 32 fragrances; 19 of them masked the body odor for men, just two masked it for women.

The study fits with other findings about women and their sense of smell. Researchers speculate that women use the biological data from body odor to help them choose mates.


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